Students & Research

Years stated as of July 2018
 Sally Adua

Sally Adua

Year: 5  |  Mentor: Nguyen  | Student Profile

Uncovering the mechanisms of osimertinib response heterogeneity and acquired resistance in lung adenocarcinoma brain metastases. 

To discover the specific cellular and molecular mechanisms governing resistance in EGFR mutant lung adenocarcinomas.

Chris Anderson

Year: 3  |  Mentor: Qyang  |  Student Profile

Chris has his own NIH funded F31 grant

Human Engineered Pulsatile Conduits Using Engineered Heart Tissue of Defined Composition and Fiber Orientation.

The purpose of this project is to generate tissue engineered pulsatile conduits (TEPCs) to aid in circulation by producing contractile force, and thus an increased driving pressure, to aid in flow through the pulmonary system in patients with single ventricle heart defects.

Luke Batty

Year: 2  |  Mentor: Qyang  |

Investigating the Barriers to Reprogramming in Pig Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells. 

Cardiovascular tissue engineering is a rapidly advancing field that is producing new stem cell-based therapeutics for heart disease, but is being held back by the lack of a robust cardiovascular model that recapitulates the human system for safety and efficacy tests. We are attempting to provide this model in the pig by producing truly pluripotent pig induced pluripotent stem cells to be used as a platform to test allogeneic stem cell-based transplantation.

 Wesley Cai

Wesley Cai

Year: 5  |  Mentor: Yan and Nguyen  | Student Profile

Identification of Epigenetic Regulators of Basal-like Breast Cancer Metastasis. 

Identifying and characterizing these proteins and the chromatin landscape they shape can pave the way to a therapeutic target for this deadly disease.

Jocelyn Chen

Jocelyn Chen

Year 3  |  Mentor: Yan  | Student Profile

Epigenetic Regulators of Breast Cancer Metastasize to the Brain. 

Breast cancer cells metastasize to vital organs including the brain.  Brain metastases, which occur in approximately 15-35% of metastatic breast cancer cases, are refractory to chemotherapy Jocelyn is working to identify and characterize novel epigenetic drivers of breast cancer brain metastasis  

 Bomiao Hu

Bomiao Hu

Year: 5  |  Mentor: Politi  | Student Profile

Elucidate the role of ERBB2 and EGFR-driven lung cancer. 

I focus on mechanisms of resistance of mutant EGFR-driven lung cancer to EGFR TKIs. I will utilize transgenic mouse model that mimic human disease to study the tumor cells that are left over after drug treatment and will eventually expand in the presence of drug. I would like to know how these cells are able to survive drug treatment and whether we can target these cells to delay drug resistance. 

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Alanna Kaplan

Year: 5(3)  |  Mentor: Peter Glazer  |  Student Profile 

Novel methods of manipulating DNA double strand break repair for cancer therapy.  

To explore novel methods of manipulating DNA repair to enhance the efficacy of cancer therapies, by (1) examining the effects of an existing therapeutic agent, the angiogenesis inhibitor cediranib, on DNA repair and (2) developing a novel tool to inhibit DNA repair selectively in tumor cells.

Sam Kerr

Year: 2  |  Mentor: Katz  |  Student Profile

Exploiting the tumor microenvironment to promote on-target, on-tumor CAR-T cell toxicity. 

Reprogramming CAR-T cells to promote cytotoxicity in the lymphoma microenvironment by using the physical properties of the tumor microenvironment.

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Irina Krykbaeva 

Year: 5(3)  |  Mentor: Marcus Bosenberg 

Investigating the Immune Response to Melanoma Brain Metastases.  

To elucidate how the tumor immune microenvironment affects metastatic melanoma growth in the brain, allowing for the development of more effective, rationally designed immunotherapies.

 Jade (Xiuqi) Li

Jade (Xiuqi) Li

Year: 5  |  Mentor: Finberg  | Student Profile

Jade has her own American Heart Association Grant

Determining the Mechanism of Excess Fgf23 in a Genetic Model of Chronic Iron Deficiency. 

Iron Deficiency anemia affects and estimated 16% of the population worldwide. Recent human and mouse studies suggest that iron deficiency anemia can lead to elevated circulating fibroblast growth factor (Fgf23), a key phosphate regulating hormone and an independent marker of mortality. My goal is to determine the mechanism underlying excess Fgf23 in iron deficiency anemia.

 Yuting Liu

Yuting Liu

Year: 5  |  Mentor: Rimm  | Student Profile

PD-L1 expression on multiple immune cell types as predictive biomarker to anti-PD-1 blockade therapy. 

To establish a predictive model to assess the potential for clinical response to anti-PD-1 therapy.  

Meaghan McGeary

Meaghan McGeary

Year: 3 | Mentor: Marcus Bosenberg

Epigenetic Modulators of Melanoma Heterogeneity and Drug Resistance. 

The goal of this project is to define causes and consequences of tumor heterogeneity in melanoma using YUMM/YUMMER and these subsets as a model.  

Alva Sainz

Year: 3  |  Mentor: Katz  |


Jacqueline Starrett

Jackie Starrett

Year 4  |  Mentor: Politi  |  Student Profile

Mechanisms of acquired resistance to first-line osimertinib in mouse models of EGFR mutant lung cancer.  

Determining the mechanisms of resistance and the efficacy of other EGFR TKIs following osimertinib progression will allow us to determine the most effective treatment strategy for a growing number of tumors receiving first-line osimertinib, which will inevitably develop resistance and require an effective second-line treatment strategy.

Jonathan Sun

Year: 2  |  Mentor: Fernandez- Hernando |

Genetic and Metabolic Mapping of Obesity-induced Hepatocellular Carcinoma.  

I hope to map changes in molecular networks and metabolic programs from the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) to HCC. Through metabolic and genomic tracing, we can isolate molecular leads to evaluate significance in HCC development and identify therapeutic targets.

Taylor Takasugi

Year: 2  |  Mentor: Chang  |

 Emily Wingrove

Emily Wingrove

Year: 5  |  Mentor: Nguyen  | Student Profile

Epigenetic silencing of WNT inhibitors contributes to lung adenocarcinoma progression. 

Understanding the specific mediators and drivers of LUAD plasticity required for brain metastasis and outgrowth may provide additional insights as to potential therapeutic options.

Diana Yanez

Year: 3  |  Mentor: Colegio |  Student Profile